Roger & Don Belcher
Don and Roger Belcher together as “The Belcher” sponsorship in Illinois USSSA softball has taken sponsorship from all levels of USSSA play to unprecedented levels in Illinois. This sponsorship has spanned over 30 years. The Manteno, Illinois based construction company has demonstrated a longevity of time and money to promote Illinois USSSA softball. Teams have included Men’s (C, B, A/AA and Major), Women’s and Co-Ed.
Donald Belcher Sr. Played softball himself from the mid-60s until starting his first Belcher sponsored team in 1975. Roger D. Belcher joined the Illinois softball partnership after high school in 1978. Roger turned full-time sponsor in 1992 and the Belcher sponsorship was off and running, playing tournaments throughout Illinois (Rockford, Joliet, Champaign and southern Illinois). 1981 led Belcher to increase the USSSA involvement with the new state director Brenda Paulson and the Illinois USSSA. Over 31 years, the Belcher’s have compiled over 540 tournament entries.
Don passed in December 2005, but he had shared his fondest moment in softball as one from the mid-80s. Don had taken his team to Rockford for a USSSA Illinois State Tournament and a couple of players had car trouble and were unable to make a Saturday morning game. Don laced up the work boots and, at age 60, played three games. Forfeit was out of the question for Don.
The Belcher sponsorship in the early 90s became a team totally geared to play USSSA-style softball and to date many Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame inductees have played at one time or another under the Belcher leadership.
Since 2000, Roger D. Belcher has continued the legacy at the Major level and with Illinois USSSA women’s and co-ed. The family will continue for years to come to sponsor softball and strive toward the ultimate crown at the USSSA Men’s Major World Series.
“Softball is in our blood and the Belchers will always find a way to field a team at some level,” Roger said.
Tonight, we honor both Don & Roger Belcher who have devoted a part of their lives to Illinois USSSA softball and the accomplishments speak for all of Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame.